I don't think it iss appropriate for clergy to be sharing what people, even the
deceased, share with them without express permission. Similarly, I don't think
it's appropriate for journalists and publications to *seek* such stories where
no permission exists. Unethical on both parts.
@ JWDixonier The deceased asked Mr. Bradshaw to let people know he
was remorseful. How else is he supposed to do so unless through some sort of
media. A very sad story but not because express permission was missing.
Geez, PLEASE READ THE ARTICLE before commenting. Gardner asked that the Bishop
share it in an appropriate way that may have an impact on other persons that if
by hearing it or reading it they might make a change that could avoid anything
like what Gardner did, or the pain he caused. It was mentioned several times. I
know the atricle is long and you may not like to read, but unless you read it
please refrain from commenting.
He did have Gardner's express permission and encouragement to share it publicly.
Why do people write without carefully reading first?
@JWDixonizerDid you read the news article? Here is a quote from the
story: "He gave me permission to use my notes and our conversations in any
way I think might be of value to someone."AS for me, I found
the story to be riveting. I am inspired by the idea that even the worst people
can change. My sister was incarcerated in Draper for many years, and I saw
tremendous changes in her.
Mr. Gardner apparently made it pretty clear to Bishop Bradshaw that he wanted
his story told for many reasons. Being an old bishop I respect privacy and
those things that are never shared, but in this matter with RLG it is much
different and I appreciate Bp. Bradshaw and Mr. Robinson for putting it in the
newspaper. Thank you Bishop Bradshaw!
JWDixoniser, I would agree totally with you. If you read the article
completely, you will see that Mr Gardner did give express permission. As an ex
LDS Bishop of two terms, I heard things that I will carry to my grave, and would
never dream of revealing them. If given permission to do so, and if I
prayerfully thought it would help someone, then I would do so.If
this was printed to sensationalise the latter days of Mr Gardner's life, it
would be extremely wrong, but I personally do not come away with that feeling
after reading it. I read of a man who has committed heinous crimes, and has
taken the life of two innocent men, but who, with help from a sincere minister
has come to a realisation of his crime, and feels genuine remorse. I also feel
that he came to know that by hearing of his life, he may prevent another young
man, or men, of going down that same path. Surely that is a worthwile reason
for printing it in the form that we have read.As far as forgiveness
for Mr Gardner, the Lord will decide that. He is the sole Judge.
Maybe this will help someone not go down this path.
This was a fantastic two-part article. Thank you. rsd
In the column, the Bishop states, "He gave me permission to use my notes
and our conversations in any way I think might be of value to someone."
JWD, did you even read the stories? In both part one and two, it states that RLG
had asked that his story be told so that it might help people who are struggling
and who are headed down the same path as he went.
RE; JWDixonizer/ "I don't think it iss appropriate for clergy to be sharing
what people, even the deceased, share with them without express
permission."Keep reading, 2nd page.He said
(Gardner) he feels good that he has had a bishop to "open up to." He
gave me permission to use my notes and our conversations in any way I think
might be of value to someone.
Powerful reporting of the events leading to R. Gardner's execution. Well said
and heartfelt. Compassionate and in perspective. Thank you Doug for bringing
this to light so we can better understand Gardner and particularly his attempts
to reconcile. Appropriate and well done.
So here is a little personal test: do I want - do you want - Ronnie to be
forgiven and washed clean, or do we secretly hope that he'll get what he
deserves?I well remember President Faust saying in conference,
"I don't know about you, brethren, but I don't pray for justice, I pray for
Murderers obviously should be punished. But capital punishment should not be
the way to do it. I've come to that conclusion over the years and with a lot of
thought. I respect other views, but mine is that capital punishment is wrong
for several reasons.
I was given a great opportunity to teach Priesthood lessons to prisoners in our
local jail. Every time I taught the lesson the Spirit filled our hearts and
minds. I truly believe that the Lord walks the hallways of jails and prisons
offering his peace to all who are humble and repentant. He loves all people
regardless of our stature or circumstances. Peace is His to give and His to take
Excellent article. May God bless Brother Gardner now that he is with Him. May
God please bring peace to the victims' families.
"May God bless Brother Gardner now that he is with Him."With all due respect, Gardner is not with Him."'Thou shalt
not kill.' (Ex. 20:13.) 'Thou shalt do no murder.' (Matt. 19:18.) Murder, the
unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought or under such
circumstances of criminality that the malice is presumed, 'is a sin unto death'
(1 John 5:16-17), a sin for which there is 'no forgiveness' (D&C 42:79),
meaning that a murderer can never gain salvation. 'No murderer hath eternal life
abiding in him.' (1 John 3:15.) He cannot join the Church by baptism; he is
outside the pale of redeeming grace.Mr. Garnder is in spirit prison
awaiting the resurrection of the unjust.
@ John Adams,Why don't we let the Eternal Judge determine where he
Mark 2:17.I hope the families of the victims found peace somehow.
This was a great two-part story.
I personally don't find anything redeeming where Ronnie Lee Gardner is
Gardiner was wise to let his own blood be shed.
A really good article.thank you for it....a real blessing in my life at this
time...will not go into it but real close to home................thanks again
"...he is outside the pale of redeeming grace"Given that,
as the Book of Mormon says, the atonement is infinite and eternal, I don't
believe that anything can be 'outside' of it.And as for D&C
42:79, since the word is 'kill' and not 'murder', then I suppose, by your
reading of scripture, that Ronnie's executioners are also "outside the pale
of redeeming grace," because they clearly killed Ronnie.
If this happened, and I doubt most of these incidents did, it has many flaws,
inmates on death row are locked down 23 hours a day and with no contact between
inmates, you get to shower or walk in a cage, but talking to other inmates,
ain't gonna happen. No access to hot oil, wax and the water is never hot enough
to hurt anyone, bunch of malarchy. This is real life, not the movies. Get all
these ideas out of your head.
John Adams--if King Lamoni, and men like John Calvin can be forgiven for unjust
executions, then let's be a little more forgiving.
Walt Nicholes--I am sorry, but shedding his blood does not in any way account
for his sins, if that's what you're getting at. The only blood that was shed
that is at all cleansing is Christ's, and that is that. I am afraid that this
quote of yours would only perpetuate beliefs of others that mormons believe
(whether you yourself are mormon or not--this is the deseret news and everyone
makes assumptions) things that they in fact do not, according to the doctrine of
Walt Nicholes | "Gardiner was wise to let his own blood be
shed."Are you nuts? Killing is wrong, whether by the State or
I just finished reading this article and I feel very emotional. I still agree
with capital punishment, as I think dying is a mercy when one has committed
terrible sins. I for one am not afraid to die except to be parted from my loved
ones for a time. I also feel that our taxes paying to house people who will
never be able to get out and live a quality life is a waste. Ronnie Gardner is
much happier where he is than he would have been living life in prison. I feel
that I learned quite a bit from this and how we are all given a different lot in
life and some people have it much harder than others. I am glad that it will be
Christ judging us by our hearts. I cried when I read about the blessing he was
given. Isn't it amazing how much God loves all of us so much. I am grateful.
Apparently I was so emotional, I could not add commas where needed, and also was
a little ungrammatical. Sorry.
Read the scriptures folks, they came from the Judge.
How very touching an account. Thank you for your insights, Bishop Bradshaw.
May God comfort you as well as your family. Thanks for your service.
A relative of mine also had the opportunity to serve those in jail. It is
amazing what learning goes on and the spirit that is there as people learn of
the Savior and His atonement for each of us. I appreciated this article and saw
so many similarities in this bishop's experience and that of my uncle's. In the
end, we are called to minister to those in need, help them find relief and leave
the judgment to higher powers. But if this experience can help someone not yet
caught in the web, it is a good thing to publish and read. And I did learn -
that in actuality I know very little and rely on the Savior for His love and
compassion. So forth and serve others.
Bishop Bradshaw is an example of what an LDS Bishop should be. Remember he does
this without pay.Ronnie tried to avoid the execution but he faced it
like a man. There is enough good in God to forgive and let his grace act.
A fascinating article and insight. Most powerful statement was
"Mike's": "I accept your apology and I forgive you." Very,
very powerful! Wish that I could be as strong and forgiving.
@John Adams,There are several examples of prophets killing men in
the scriptures. Moses killed an Egyptian. Nephi killed Laban. Elijah ordered
the Priests of Baal to be killed, and consumed by fire several soldiers in the
king's army. Saul/Paul may or may not have killed anyone, but at least
indirectly lead to the deaths of several Christians before his conversion. I
would be surprised to see any of these men in anything but the Celestial
Kingdom.While murder is indeed heinous and vile, it is not always an
open and closed case, and only the Mediator can know the hearts of the men that
comitted these acts. Perhaps there are or were mitigating circumstances. I for
one am glad I will be judged by Him and not by man. The Church does
make provisions for murderers to receive baptism, but it does require approval
from the First Presidency. That to me would imply that there can be some sort
Great article. One of the best DRob has ever written.
What a profound story of ultimate love and forgiveness. "I the Lord will
forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men."
It is amazing how professional criminals can pull the wool over so many people's
eyes - I feel bad for Mr. Bradshaw and others that spend time with those who
only know how to hurt and manipulate. Even though he spent a significant amount
time with Mr. Gardner he wasn't there day-in and day-out. A person who served
time and witnessed Mr. Gardner every day told me in a first hand account that he
was pure evil - he treated those around him and those who had the job of keeping
him alive with disdain, anger and hate. This article only made me think of the
victims and their families - Gardner didn't deserve this notoriety...this was a
step down for the DesNews.
@ John Adams, it sounds like you want to be the Judge.
Macnsmuck- Good try, but prisons do have kitchens, which is probably where the
hot oil originated. Ronnie was not on death row when these incidents took place.
Once again, if you are going to comment, please, read the whole article more
than once so that you understand it. Clergy have the special privilege of being
able to visit at the prisoners request when they are about to be put to death.
Anyone who doubts this mans story obviously has not learned the act of
forgiveness themselves and how dare you challenge this mans story. The
correctional officers do what they can to make a death row inmate make peace
with those they have wronged in life so that they might have peace in death.
Ronnie was a part of the lives of everyone at that prison for 25 years that they
were able to show him such compassion, shows me that Ronnie was a changed man
and I pray he was shown mercy. Besides, if the families can find it in their
hearts to forgive this man for taking the lives of their loved ones, we have not
the right or reason to condemn him any further.
Mr. Gardner was a murderer, however, thanks to an amazing Bishop he was more
prepared for the next stage of life. There is no way we can determine what
happens next but he has been taken home to that God who gave him life and he
will be judge by the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead at the appropriate
time. It is the best place for him to be, away from the harsh and judgmental
world under the care of a loving God. I'm sure Mr. Gardner will pay the penalty
for his own sins but it will be done according to God's system, not man. If
this bishop can have so much compassion on Mr. Gardner while trying to help him
reconcile, how much better will God be towards him.God bless this
John Adams | 8:14 a.m. July 18, 2011 Miami, FLInteresting
comments by John Adams... To see these comments in context go to Mormon Doctrine
Prior to Saul's conversion on the road to Damascus, he was a persecutor of and
condemned to death many of Christ's followers, but yet the Master himself found
the good in Saul (Paul) and made him one of the greatest missionaries in
Christiandom. If the Lord has that much mercy for Saul, could He not have an
equal amount for Ronnie Lee Gardner? When Christ was on the cross, he freely
forgave the robber that was crucified along Him. Yes, mercy cannot rob justice,
but I do believe that the changes in a persons heart will be looked at favorably
by the Lord at judgement and many people who we determine as unfit for mercy
might be given more than we can comprehend. Let's let the Master judge and let
us ask mercy for those who have transgressed.My wife's older brother
was murdered a few years back and her family cannot forgive the murderer. They
live with hatred and resentment and it festers in their souls like a deep
sliver. Forgiveness is required of all of us. Period. The Lord will forgive whom
he will forgive.
As someone who as seen the effects of horrific child abuse, I felt sympathy
reading this article. Sympathy for the victims families, Mr. Garnder, and the
Bishop. Mr. Gardner's character evolved long before the actual murders.With that said, Mr. Gardner got what he deserved, and I respect a Bishop who
devoted hours away from his own family, helping Mr. Gardner understand the law
of mercy and justice.I remember this terrible series of events, but
this tiny ray of light in the end, will hopefully help some of us take something
positive from the situation.
Please correct me if I am wrong. I understand that the Atonement pays for all
sins except murder. I thought that a murderer like King David could repent and
be forgiven but never receive exaltation. Doesn't the murderer have to pay the
full price for their behavior instead of the Atonement making up the difference?
I'd understood that was b/c restitution could never be made for wrongfully
taking another's life.
@ Sarah BIf that were true then all murderers would be Sons of
Perdition. To enter even the Telestial Kingdom, one must be cleansed of all
sin, and that requires the Blood of Christ.
Sarah B:King David was a very unique situation, quite different from
the case of Gardner. King David conspired to have a husband killed because of
his own lust for the man's wife. Part of King David's harsh judgement from God
was because he had been so blessed by the Lord, yet he gave it all up for
lust.One should be careful not to take this one instance out of the
Holy Scriptures as a measurement of the punishment of murder. There are so many
other examples and teachings that must also be considered.In all the
words of modern day LDS church leaders, the overwhelming teaching is that, there
is only one unforgivable sin - denying the Holy Ghost.I have done a
lot of scripture study and have come to only one sure conclusion about
repentance and forgiveness for murder. And that is, it will be up to Christ to
A powerful story and great reporting. Imagine, a newspaper story that doesn't
just regurgitate an AP line. AMAZING Thanks also for avoiding the
politics and morality of the death penalty. Thanks Doug and DNEWS.
Appreciate the time required to write and bring about this story. For the good
men willing to give of their time, for those bad men who, given the time, find a
way to better their lives. God loves all of his children, even those who go
astray. Fortunate for all, His judgment will be just and merciful.
A story about an unrepentent, angry murderer changing his attitude before being
put to death is simply not an interesting story, and certainly not a story worth
telling. The lives of two people, and all of the joyful stories of family,
personal accomplishment, service and love were cut-short and destroyed by this
monster. Blaming his upbringing or detailing how he (maybe) gained some small
bit of conscience will not replace the lost lives or the stories that never
were.This story is not worth of this news organization.
It never ceases to amaze me how so many members of the Church know so little
regaring Church doctrine.
Confidentiality clause?The medical professional in me is cringing.Hope nobody writes personal, private stuff about me.Wondering about a
monetary exchange here.......
Wow! Another criminal finding God. Forgiveness is nice. Justice is better,
thank goodness the state finally did what it should of years ago. This isn't
even news and shouldn't be a concern of any news media. I'd rather see pictures
of Osama's dead body, get those, that's news.
"In all the words of modern day LDS church leaders, the overwhelming
teaching is that, there is only one unforgivable sin - denying the Holy
Ghost."That is totally and completely false."A
murderer, for instance, one that sheds innocent blood, cannot have forgiveness.
David sought repentance at the hand of God... for the murder of Uriah; but he
could only get it through hell: he got a promise that his soul should not be
left in hell....:This is the case with murderers. They could not be
baptized for the remission of sins, for they had shed innocent blood."
(Teachings, p. 339)
I ask myself, will this story change my attitude toward some teen who makes me
upset with their behavior, enough to turn to them and be the mentor who could
help save them from a similar outcome? How many young people have I
"thrown to the dogs" just because I didn't care for their attitude and
despised their actions? We all need to reach out with compassion and love toward
our fellow travelers in this life and provide love, comfort and guidance, giving
him or her a sense of self-worth and listen to their concerns. Be the
compassionate mentor that could have made a difference in this story. Oh, that
that one person had crossed paths with Ronnie! It is tragic that some who could
have helped turned out to further abuse him and hurt his character. They will
yet pay an awful price.
I know that murder can be forgiven. I just thought it required a different
process than other sins b/c of its seriousness. I also know that people will be
judged righteously b/c some may have mental problems due to illness or injury
that will affect their behavior. They will be judged differently than those who
are evil. Personally, I don't put alot of stock in excuses like "I had a
bad childhood." Lots of people have horrendous upbringings and they become
responsible, law abiding citizens, in part b/c they don't want to repeat their
own childhood in the lives of others. We have the ability to choose good over
Manipulating manipulator manipulating.The stone-cold killers
interactions had absolutely *nothing* to do with repentance.This is
what it had *everything* to do with:(from the article) "which
included new shoes, colored pencils for drawing, an additional hour out of his
cell, additional phone time to take care of his personal and legal matters, and
a CD player with audio versions of the scriptures. He has had no write-ups for
10 years and feels he is being treated more harshly than necessary."Smart move to get a powerful "leader" in the prison to start
trying to "get" you stuff.All those things were purchased
by the Utah taxpayer.Good job, Bishop. You got a stone-cold killer
some (extra) "stuff" he wanted.That was the beginning and
end of the killers interaction with the Bishop. Pretend an interest in the
scriptures so you can get a CD player on Death-Row. Pretend an interest in the
LDS Church so you can get colored pencils.A manipulating manipulator
manipulated. Beginning and end of the story.
@John Adams,Even in the case of David he will eventually have
forgiveness, for he is not a Son of Perdition. His sould will not be left in
Hell. David will not enjoy exaltation, but will eventually be
redeemed. The only reason we know this is because it has been revealed to
Joseph Smith. While not 100% certain, I would wager that King David
had substantially more knowledge and light than RLG when this heinous act was
comitted. I have to believe that has a lot to do with his standing before God.
While the scriptures are clear that Denying the Holy Ghost is both
unpardonable and unforgiveable, it is not so clear in the case of murder. Why
was Paul able to be redeemed for his actions, and not David? David was not the
one who killed Uriah, only arrainged his death. Paul may not have killed
anyone, but played as big a part in the killing of what he deemed to be
I found the articles about Ronnie Lee Gardner and Mr. Bradshaw to be highly
human and beautiful. Bradshaw is a remarkable human being. This story fully
discloses the power of the human being either to be both destructive and
constructive or positive and negative. Our impact in this world will be felt by
those around us. Bradshaw chose to be a change agent for the betterment of the
prisoners he worked with including Ronnie.Ronnie was very much a
product of a horrible childhood but also he came to realize the harm he had
commited and was truly contrite and sorrowful. His life exhibited the fact that
as humans we make mistakes and we are both positive and negative.Thank you, Mr. Bradshaw for this compelling story of redemption.
I am amazed and stupefied by the comments on this board. They fall into four
categories:1. Appreciative of Bradshaw; Very few of these.2. Argue Mormon doctine about mercy/justice and punishment for murderers and
so forth. Too many comments.3. Outright hatred and condemnation for
Ronnie.4. Suspicion about Mr. Bradshaw's motives.Thanks
to all who fall into the first category. No thanks to #2 comments; this is not
at all about what the articles are about. I am amazed at the vitriolic comment
of the 3rd group against someone they probably had never met. And, finally, I am
aghast at the 4th group.
John Adams quotes:'A murderer, for instance, one that sheds innocent
blood, cannot have forgiveness. David sought repentance at the hand of God...
for the murder of Uriah; but he could only get it through hell: he got a promise
that his soul should not be left in hell....(Teachings, p. 339) "I am totally aware of this quote. I am also totally aware, and you may be
also, that most LDS church prophets since have specifically avoided confirming
this teaching, and have repeatedly taught that the only unforgivable sin is
denying the Holy Ghost. This teaching is much more in harmony with Holy
Scripture.John also says "It never ceases to amaze me how so
many members of the Church know so little regaring Church doctrine."Members of the LDS church need to be much more cautious about teaching
doctrine not founded in scripture or LDS doctrine. For example, one above
eludes to a "different" atonement outside that of Jesus Christ. This
is not only without scriptural or doctirnal foundation, but contradicts Christ's
I had a brother who was treated very cruelly by my father. He struggled with
alcohol, drugs and several marriages. He eventully committed suicide.I cannot judge him as he went through hell as a child and adolescent. He
suffered emotional, verbal and physical abuse almost on a daily basis. I cannot
think how different his life would have been with a supportive loving father.When I see criminals, I see many who had hellish childhoods and were
dealt a very bad hand. They chose to do ill but it might not have been. I refuse to hate them, judge them and only feel empathy for them. We do
not know the live they lead. Ronnie suffered from sexual abuse which is very
difficult to overcome.I hope his family will be at peace. I hope the
family's of the victim's will find peace.
As one in need of repentence and forgiveness for more things in my life than I
can ever possibly remember I sincerely hope for mercy from my Father in Heaven.
I hope for the same for all of us.This story really moved me. It has
given me alot to think about.
This was an interesting article. While I'll refrain from commenting on whether I
think Gardner's punishment was justified or not, I think it serves as a vivid
example of how one person's misdeeds can affect so many people. Obviously it
deeply affected the families of the victims (as well as Mr. Bradshaw.) They all
had to deal with the consequences of Gardner's actions. But I think
the real lesson in all this (for those who share Bradshaw's opinion) is that the
person who ultimately suffered from Gardner's actions wasn't the impulsive young
man who robbed the bar or shot the attorney, it was the arthritic remorseful man
who was executed. I personally believe that people can dramatically change (but
I won't speculate on whether that was the case with Mr. Gardner or not, I merely
use it as an example.) People often fail to see how their actions will not only
affect others, but how their own lives will be forever changed because of their
It has been said that there is only one unforgivable sin, the denial of the holy
ghost. I woulkd say that there ia another one, an unforgiving heart. We are
commanded to forgive, He will forgive who He will forgive. Remember even the
smallest of sin that is not repented for separates us from recieving the full
Murderers areforgiven eventuallly but only in the sense that all other sins are
forgiven except thesin against the Holy Ghost; they are not forgiven in the
sense that celestial salvation is made available to them. (teachings,p.356-357)
After they have paid the full penalty for their crime,they shall go on to a
Alma 24:13 "Behold, I say unto you, Nay, let us retain our swords that they
be not stained with the blood of our brethren; for perhaps, if we should stain
our swords again they can no more be washed bright through the blood of the Son
of our great God, which shall be shed for the atonement of our sins."Joseph Smith also stated that the murderer cannot be redeemed until he
had "paid the utmost farthing."so you see BH, this is what
I was taught in Seminary. Not that there is a "different" Atonement,
but that Christ paid the price for our sins with the exception of murder, which
we will pay for ourselves. After we pay the price and repent there will be
forgiveness but not exaltation. Of course, that is after murderers are judged
and found to be accountable for their actions.
"Moroni 7:19.18 And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the
light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do
not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also
be judged."I don't know how you folks that are commenting on
here feel about your own positions concerning the Judgement. Personally,I know
I fall far short of the perfection I see in my Saviour. I may not have murdered
or committed adultery, but I am far from perfect. Do I always help the needy
without any feeling of superiority, or do I always home-teach without resenting
having to go out AGAIN? Do I ever smile inwardly when someone I don't like gets
come-uppance? Unfortunately,the answer is not always as it should be. Do I want
mercy, rather than judgement for such transgressions? I do, and therefore must
forgive others, and not judge them, not even murderers. (It doesn't say
"except murderers in the scripture above.) I need the Atonement in my life.
Therefore, I don't feel qualified to judge Mr Gardner. I leave that to my
Saviour. He is without sin.
Beautiful story. Beautiful perspective. And to those of you who think Dan
Bradshaw would ever do this for his own gain, you clearly don't know the man.
He is, quite possibly, the finest person I know. Thanks for sharing the story,
Dan and Doug.
Matthew 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in
prison, and ye came unto me. I would say when ye are in the service of your
fellow beings you are only in the service of your God. Thanks for being an
example of the believers. Great story.
Re: rubycrownedkinglet | 3:14 p.m. July 18, 2011 There are actually
five categories: The fifth category are those cast judgement on categories #2,
#3 and #4. They are broad minded to a fault, are quite willing to forgive a
killer they've never met and are equally quick to condemn others who don't share
their opinion.We all make this world a better place. Some because
we came, and some because we got sent home early.
Judgment is not ours. We can judge acts but we will never know the intent behind
the act. I enjoyed reading the story. It was a great perspective. I
really liked the quote by President Faust. We all pray for mercy. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." We are all
debtors (Matthew 18:21-35). I have heard some say, "well I don't have to
extend mercy and I can judge because I have never done _____, which this person
did." What a foolish statement. We are required to forgive and to be
merciful. It does not matter what act people commit. Judgment is not ours. Some
acts make it so people lose the privilege of living among the rest of us, and
they rightfully spend the rest of their days in prison, but we are not the
judges of their souls. It is required that we forgive all men.
Re: BYUCOLORADO | 8:26 a.m. July 19, 2011 "Judgment is not
ours."Everyone makes judgments about other people each and
every day. The God of the Bible doesn't expect us to run around with blinders
on. Diligent parents approve or disapprove of the people their children
associate with. Wise parents don't want our children hanging around with drug
addicts, and most of us support Megan's Laws that red flag sex offenders living
This story moved me deeply and reminded me again of the power and mercy of the
infinite atonement. When a great wrong happened in my life, I discovered that I
had been given an opportunity to learn that the only way to peace and happiness
is through forgiveness of those who hurt me severely. Perhaps this virtue of
forgiveness as exemplified in this story, the recent example of a forgiving
Bishop whose family was killed by a drunk driver and why the forgiveness
exemplified by Corrie Ten Boom, Gandi and many others is why they have such a
deeply moving impact in our souls. To develop that compassion and forgiveness
and even love for those who have wronged us is a great blessing and hopefully
something that we all deeply admire and yearn for.Peace comes from
this example.Alma 24:10 And I also thank my God, yea, my great God,
that he hath granted unto us that we might repent of these things, and also that
he hath forgiven us of those our many sins and murders which we have committed,
and taken away the guilt from our hearts, through the merits of his Son.
People who complain about such "Mormon" comments should consider the
following.They chose, according to their own free desire, to come to
the website of a 'Mormon' owned newspaper, that has a 'Mormon' themed insert
paper every week, and online has a whole section dedicated to 'Mormon'
topics.Also, that 'Mormon' comments being found in abundance in a
Utah newspaper is no different than if we all were reading a paper published by
the Vatican. Catholic comments outrageous or tiresome? No, not really. Comments
saying 'there are too many catholic comments' actually are the comments that
people tire of.I would also like to point out that this article is
about an LDS bishop's story.-----Now, in the friendliest
way of saying this possible I will conclude with this. I often tell people that
if you are uncomfortable living in Utah, why would you stay? I don't mean it
rudely, only in that I would leave boston if I hated it there. If people don't
like an LDS themed paper, or the comments on here... no one should feel
unwelcome here, but there is another paper in Utah much less friendly to the
church. We choose what we read.
RE:RiflemanI was anticipating someone bringing that up. I remember that
conference talk where they said you must judge, and sometimes people, to ensure
that you are being safe and your kids are safe too. Sometimes you may even say
"I feel like that person isn't a good person to be around right now."
I have made that decision in my life. I don't usually summarily dismiss people
(I think we are to minister to everyone, no matter who they are. You can't
minister if you can't be around them!). That said, we are talking
about two different things (which I alluded to in my comment). There is a
difference between judging an action and judging a person. Ronnie committed acts
that would make anyone say he should be removed from society. That is one thing.
It is another matter entirely (and this is what I was referencing) to say that
he will burn in hell or anything of that nature. We have no idea what God's
judgements will be for a person. We do know how certain acts are viewed by God
(murder=bad). We don't know where Ronnie's final destination will be.
After reading many of the other comments, I think a few have missed what is
happening within the text. RLG and an LDS Bishop shared a relationship that
needs to be heard. This would make an amazing book.Is RLG guilty? I
don't care. Is he waiting the resurecction of the damned? I don't care. I care about the amazing article that is presented here and the
experiences of this bishop. I he transformed this into a book and published it
(possibly donating all profits to charity or the victims), I would buy it. I
want to know more. This story has the making of a classic in literature much
like In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, but I hope without the plagarization and
blatant textual barrowing.The story is compelling, because of how it
affected the Bishop. It is compelling by the way it affected me. It's important
by the potential it has to affect many who think murders/killers and other
criminals are beyond forgiveness, redeption and (emotional/spiritual)
rehabilitation. There is hope for the most severe of criminals and this article
shows this. I want more and I hope the good bishop is willing to provide it.
Re: BYUCOLORADO | 4:50 p.m. July 19, 2011 You're trying to
complicate the issue. Our society elected a group of citizens to sit in
judgment of this man and the crimes he was charged with. They listened to the
evidence, judged him to be guilty, and voted for the death penalty.When it comes to forgiveness neither you or I can grant it because we
personally weren't harmed by his actions ..... other than the damage he did to
society. I often wonder about people who eagerly announce that they've forgiven
somebody they don't even know. Our society sent this convicted
killer home to his Maker and what happens to him after he left our jurisdiction
is outside the scope of my concern.
Powerful story. Thanks for sharing.
WOW! Powerful article. Bishop Dan Bradshaw fulfilled his calling and stands as
a great example of the loving Bishops throughout the Church. Ronnie ruined many
peoples lives. He deserved capital punishment and it sounds like Ronnie was
finally realizing the hurt he caused to so many. This is a tremendous article
on the power of forgiveness.
Thank you to bishop Dan for this sweet example of love, charity, compassion and
service to a deeply lost son of God. Years ago in General Conference President
Hinckley stated that even the most heinous of addicts and criminals can be
salvaged. This is such a case. Eldridge Cleaver, leader of the Black Panthers in
the 1960s is another example of the unlimited healing power of the Savior. I
have also witnessed this change in other criminals I have had the priveledge to
follow in prison. Many of us can learn from the sharing of these experiences.
Thanks also to Ronnie for giving permission to share his story and experience
with the grace of Christ.
I have a friend whose son is on death row in another state. He is as good a man
as you'll find, yet people somehow blame him for what his son did. Violent crime
has so many victims. I'm not convinced that there is any punishment that can
bring peace to everyone.
Just curious ... are the victims getting any "media" time? I don't
give a rat's patoot about what Ronnie wants.
I understand the doctrine, I am aware of the seriousness of murder, I stand with
President Faust and pray for mercy instead of justice. I think if we spent more
time worrying about how Christ-like we are personally and less time presuming
the eternal or even temporal status of others - and take opportunity to learn
from the mistakes of others rather than insisting on always learning from our
own sad experience, we might all be better off.
It is interesting to hear a person like Ronnie Gardner express his remorse for
what he did. I think what readers of these articles need to remember what he did
to land himself on death row. RLG committed haneaous murders. The only to
possibly repent is to give up his life. Through the help of this good Bishop he
was ready as any murderer could be. It still amazes me that we still
argue over the murders rights when they forcibly take the rights away from those
they kill and their families, friends co-workers. Do we think that all those who
committ crime should be let free because God knows their hearts and only God can
judge? Capital punishment is the only appropriate way to give justice and mercy
to the murderer and to those they murdered.
I have found my work with those accused of crimes, very much like this Bishop,
to be the most healing experiences for me in this life. I lost my father to
homicide in my teen years, but never had the opportunity to talk to those
involved in the crime. I have never yet shared that information with one of my
clients. It has not been appropriate. However, I firmly believe that in all of
our lives we need to not only face justice, but more importantly mercy.Thank you for sharing.